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Curriculum Overview

The English curriculum has been built with the aim of enabling all students to develop a genuine enjoyment of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

The dedicated team of specialists is comprised of professionals with a wealth of experience and backgrounds that we use in our teaching.

Key Stage Three

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is arranged thematically, with students studying poetry, drama and prose each half-term from writers ranging from Geoffrey Chaucer to Jarvis Cocker.

Students learn and practise the reading and writing skills which they will need to succeed at Key Stage 4. These include understanding a diverse range of texts, analysing language and structure, evaluating texts, and comparing the work of different writers.

Year 7 topics include crime and punishment, growing up, race and ethnicity, local history and love.

Year 8 and Year 9 topics include war and conflict, masculinity and femininity, social class and the supernatural.

All students also study a course on the history of the English language, from Anglo-Saxon times to textspeak.

Key Stage Four

Throughout Key Stage 4 we build on the skills that have been honed at Key Stage 3. We follow the AQA English Language and Edexcel Literature courses. All students undertake their exams at the end of Year 11.

The Literature examinations are organised in the following way:

Paper One: ‘Macbeth’ and ‘An Inspector Calls’.

Paper Two: ‘A Christmas Carol’; conflict poems from the Edexcel poetry anthology; and unseen poetry.

Because of the time lost due to covid-19, the exam board may allow students to answer fewer questions in their English Literature exams than in previous years. We will amend our course accordingly.

The Language examinations are organised in the following way:

Paper One: Fiction reading skills and creative writing.

Paper Two: Non-fiction reading skills and non-fiction writing.

There is also a compulsory spoken language component whereby students must give a speech lasting approximately 6-10 minutes plus questions. We prepare students for this exam with a series of dedicated oracy lessons which help students to practise the skills of speaking aloud in front of an audience.


As well as providing quality learning experiences in the classroom, we strive to offer a range of enrichment activities throughout the year. Activities which have been popular in recent years have included taking part in national competitions, theatre trips, activities for World Book Day, playing host to acting groups who perform and run workshops and inviting local guest speakers to run workshops for students.


In English, reading is the key to success and this is encouraged throughout the year. Pupils have access to a wide variety of texts which they are welcome to borrow from school. Reading at home is also a great way for students to develop their English skills in their own time.

Teachers will also set homework linked to the topic being studied. At Key Stage 3, we have prepared homework booklets to allow students to practise the knowledge and skills they learn in lessons. In Year 10 and Year 11 pupils should be revising for a minimum of an hour per week as examinations approach.

Useful Resources

Reading List